Thursday, September 15, 2016

Volunteers needed for Friends of the Gorge clean-up

Friends of New River Gorge National River is calling for volunteers to help remove steps at Grandview's Tunnel Trail that were impacted by arson in April, according to Julena Campbell, public affairs officer for the National Park Service.

The Saturday event has been arranged to take place in conjunction with National Public Lands Day and is the non-profit organization's first volunteer event, Campbell said.

Volunteers should meet at the Grandview visitor center in the national park between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Volunteers and park staff will demolish and remove the burned steps and carry them off the trail with the assistance of a rope line. No special skills are necessary.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Kanawha Valley antiques dealers reinvest in New River market

Keith and Drema Wood
Two veteran antiques dealers renowned for their expertise in glassware and West Virginia collectibles have relocated to Fayetteville and are enjoying success in its burgeoning antiques market.

Drema and Keith Wood, co-owners of D&K Collectibles, say they couldn't he happier with their move to the town near the New River Gorge that is increasingly known as a state destination for pickers.

"Fayetteville is quickly becoming an antiques market that people are talking about across the state and beyond," says Drema Wood.

"By our count there are now 12 antiques shops in Fayette County alone, and, in this business, the more shops, the merrier."

Earlier this summer, after Keith Wood learned that his primary job was being eliminated, the couple decided to leave their long-term location in the Nitro Antiques Mall and search for a location nearer their home in Boomer.

The Woods had been aware of the potential in Fayetteville, but two months after opening they say the soundness of their decision has been confirmed.
Monday, August 29, 2016

Work Progressing on Mt. Hope's "Mural on Main Street"

Work is progressing on a mural on the DuBois-on-Main building, an African-American museum on the corner of Main Street and South Virginia Street in Mount Hope, West Virginia (WV). During segregation, Mount Hope's historically black schools were named for William Edward Burghardt "W. E. B." Du Bois (February 23, 1868 - August 27, 1963), noted African-American sociologist, historian, and civil rights activist. Racial integration occurred during the 1956-1957 school term, and DuBois High School was renamed Mount Hope High School. The building is still extant and is located on the WV-61 by-pass on the northeast end of town.

Mural on DuBois on Main Museum
Mural going up on the DuBois on Main museum...
DuBois on Main Mural
... will look something like this when completed.

The school depicted in the mural is the DuBois High School building built in 1927 at a cost of $75,000, which was destroyed by fire on June 22, 1950. Approximately 500 junior and high school students were enrolled at the school during the school term that ended just prior to the fire.

Park service to burn fields near Grandview this autumn

Park service to burn fields near Grandview to help bird species.
Perhaps nothing evokes a memory of Indian Summer in West Virginia as well as the scent of bonfires, though the fires that burn in the national park near Grandview between September 6 and October 15.

Fire managers plan to burn approximately 26 acres in the “Carper Fields” area near Grandview, approximately five miles north of Interstate 64. The burn is expected to take several hours to complete, according to Julena Campbell, Public Affairs Officer and Chief of Interpretation & Cultural Resources for the New River Gorge National River.
Friday, August 19, 2016

Park Service seeks info on vandalism at New River Gorge landmark

Rangers seek information on vandalism at Long Point.
The National Park Service (NPS) seeks information in its investigation of vandalism at an overlook on the Long Point Trail near Fayetteville in the New River Gorge National River.

Sometime on or before Sunday, August 14, 2016, one or more persons used green and orange spray paint to scrawl their initials and a heart on the rocky outcrop at the end of the popular 1.6-mile trail that provides an exceptional view of the New River Gorge Bridge.

The graffiti, which reads “AW ♥ TK,” measures nearly eight feet long and two feet tall, according to Jeff West, acting superintendent for the national river.

“Graffiti is illegal everywhere, but it’s particularly disheartening to see the lack of respect shown in this case,” West said.
Monday, August 15, 2016

Log home construction takes center stage in New River Gorge region

Skybridge at AOTG
Two hundred years after they first appeared, log homes are growing popular again in West Virginia, according to a designer who's drawing on traditional mountain forms for inspiration.

Though log construction never quite disappeared in the mountains around the New River Gorge, Vickie Darby says luxury log homes are being built with greater frequency, notably near parks and recreation areas.

"Here in the New River Gorge region we've witnessed a dramatic increase in demand -- not only where cabins and luxury homes are concerned, but in uncommon cases where recreation facilities are being developed," she says. "In recent years we've been asked to provide materials for everything from bridges at rafting basecamps to bathhouses for Boy Scouts."
Saturday, July 30, 2016

U.S. 19 welcome center on schedule for Scout Jamboree

US-19 traffic races past welcome center site
Construction of a U.S. 19 welcome center for the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve near Mount Hope is on track for completion in time for the national Boy Scout Jamboree in July 2017. According to Gary Hartley, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, the construction site on the expressway has been graded, and construction of the J.W. & Hazel Ruby West Virginia Welcome Center has begun in earnest and will continue full force, weather permitting.

The center will serve as the main entrance and parking area for the 11,000-acre reserve and will include seating areas, retail and exhibit spaces, a climbing wall, and restroom facilities accessible from both inside and outside, Hartley said. Reserve guests will also be welcomed and credentialed as they arrive at the center, which will provide parking for more than 12,000 vehicles. Plazas outside will allow groups to congregate before they are transported to the Scott Summit Center within the reserve. The site will also feature J.W. Point, an overlook offering views of the mountainous landscape.

Center will park more than 12,000 cars.
The Summit Bechtel Reserve draws thousands of visitors each year, and plays host to the national Scout jamboree every four years, welcoming more than 80,000 visitors to the New River Gorge region. The reserve will host the 2019 World Scout Jamboree, which will bring Scouts from all over the world.

For more information on the Bechtel Reserve and the Ruby Welcome Center, visit the Scouting Newsroom: BSA breaks ground on new welcome center for Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.

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